This morning was the first weekday morning in 6 weeks that we decided to sleep in. A month and a half into our training programme and from day one we have got up at 6.30am every morning (Monday to Friday, please, the weekends are made for rest and indulgence). We have risen put on our shoes in a sleepy haze and gone out into the day with force. Some mornings have been easier than others. Some have been inspiring and breathtakingly beautiful, while others have been a constant struggle.
Why are we training?
Firstly, to run a 15 km night run in the hills of Barcelona mid-September. We could do it tomorrow but the more we train, the more we see our times improve, the more we push ourselves, the better it gets. The euphoria of achieving an 8 km run before 8 am on a Monday morning is something else.
Secondly, to live a healthier life. Alongside running and exercising we are motivated to eat a bit better, go to bed earlier, make better decisions.The more we challenge ourselves physically the more we realise that the real challenge is not what the body can do but the frame of mind you can get into if you start to say, “Yes, I am going to get up early, and run – or do a class – or stretch and swim.” And then all of a sudden six weeks in and you’ve succeeded in doing that every day. And instead of eating hamburgers and tapas, you are enjoying quinoa bowls and salads; and substituting the daily beer for water, and the odd beer.
Lastly, it’s for inspiration. The daily discipline that goes beyond your morning exercise and follows you into your day, into the decisions you make. Sometimes when I am on the last km of the run I tell myself “This is the hardest thing you are going to do today, give it your all.” And even though I am tired and sore, my legs start moving faster and I find the strength to push harder. Then, I go into my day knowing that I can achieve anything I put my mind to.
In the last 6 weeks, I have not only been training physically, but mentally. Since we began getting up early in July, I also began writing a novel. I wanted to give it a go. Always something I wanted to do and so I started to dedicate a couple of hours a day to it. Which then turned into 4 hours of writing a day – words counted in place of km’s, but it was the same challenge. Same push. A month and a half on, and I’m proud to say that I’ve completed an 80,000-words for my first manuscript of what will be my first novel.
There is a long way to go, to edit, re-write certain parts, and to edit, edit, edit some more. But I know, as I do with each daily exercise, I will keep going and keep pushing myself. Look after the body, and the mind will follow.